Duck Dynasty returned to A&E last night with brand new episodes, the first since the row last month about Phil Robertson's comments regarding sin and homosexuality. The reality show, entering its fifth season, had strong numbers, but they were lower than the season 4 debut. That number was all MSNBC needed to seize on to see a moral victory for the gay-rights groups that had pressured A&E to fire Phil Robertson.
"'Duck Dynasty' ratings dip amid anti-gay flap," thundered the teaser headline on the msnbc.com landing page. Clicking the link brings the reader to Morgan Whitaker's January 17 article, "‘Duck Dynasty’ sees ratings drop in season premiere," which begins (emphasis mine):
A bill before the Wisconsin state legislature would repeal a provision in state law which mandates that employees of private businesses must get one day off after every six worked. Proponents of the bill argue the measure will allow business owners and their employees to have greater flexibility in scheduling and permit an employee to volunteer to work a seventh-straight day.
But to the folks at MSNBC.com, the law could be a threat to the working man's down-time. "Could workers lose their right to a weekend?" an alarming headline on the network's main Web page asked. Clicking the link brings readers to Ned Resnikoff's January 17 story, "Wisconsin may eliminate ban on 7-day work weeks," which was slanted towards the perspective of liberal labor unions while dismissive of a business lobby backing the proposal (emphasis mine):
Yesterday the Supreme Court heard a case, McCullen v. Coakley, which calls into question a Massachusetts law which establishes a speech-free-zone extending 35 feet from the entrance to an abortion clinic. That law provides, however, an exemption for the speech of employees or agents of said abortion clinics, effectively serving as restriction on speech which is NOT content-neutral.
To the extent that liberals in the media have bothered to cover this, there is no shortage of sympathy for the abortion-rights absolutists who vociferously defend this law. That's why a kudos is in order for the Daily Beast not only publishing but promoting on its landing page pro-life liberal Kirsten Powers's warning to her fellow lefties headlined, "Anti-Free Speech Zones Used to Silence Pro-Lifers Could Come Back to Haunt Liberals." Here's an excerpt (emphasis mine):
In June 2007, actor Isaiah Washington was fired from ABC's Grey's Anatomy months after publicly apologizing for having used the term "faggot" in a heated argument back in October 2006 in reference to another cast member. Washington had apologized in January 2007 and added, "I know a mere apology will not end this, and I intend to let my future actions prove my sincerity."
Seven years later, the gang at the Washington Post's The Reliable Source column are still resolved to keep Washington in the doghouse, even if he's slowly but surely coming off a Hollywood blacklist and performing acts of penance like starring in drama about "a young boy who struggles with his sexuality in small-town Mississippi" and in which "Washington plays the supportive father." From Helena Andrews and Emily Heil's January 16 item, "An evolution for ex 'Grey' star?" (emphases mine):
On Tuesday a federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overstepped its legal authority in 2010 when it imposed so-called net neutrality regulations on broadband companies -- cable and fiber-optic Internet providers like Comcast or Verizon FiOS. The FCC had done this despite language in federal law which forbade the regulations under a "common carrier" provision.
While the Wall Street Journal's Gautham Nagesh and Amol Sharma gave readers a factual portrait of the ruling which dealt with the law and the economic realities of broadband service, the Washington Post's Cecilia Kang opted for the melodramatic in her January 15 front-pager, foreseeing a future replete with the Internet's fast lanes auctioned "to the highest corporate bidder" while "other Web sites [slow] to a crawl." "Ultimately," the Post national technology correspondent ominously warned (emphasis mine):
At least one prominent liberal Democrat well-acquainted with intelligence on the matter disputes the conclusions of the New York Times regarding the deadly September 11, 2012 attack on an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) rejected the Times’s conclusion that al Qaeda wasn’t responsible for the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans," reported Julian Pecquet today, adding (emphasis mine):
When the Supreme Court sat yesterday to hear the matter of NLRB v. Noel Canning, virtually every justice was highly skeptical of the Obama administration's claim that President Obama's January 2012 "recess appointments" were a valid exercise of his constitutional authority. After all, the president made the appointments when the U.S. Senate was technically in session -- a minutes-long pro forma session, but in session nonetheless. Even former Obama solicitor general Elena Kagan, no conservative she, seemed critical of the White House's arguments.
And yet when MSNBC's Adam Serwer covered the story for the Lean Forward network's website, he predictably spun the matter as the conservative wing of the Court leading the way for an outdated, dust-covered "horse and buggy" reading of the national charter. "Supremes may let GOP block Obama recess noms," blared an early msnbc.com teaser headline, although that misleading, inaccurate headline was changed shortly thereafter to read "Supreme Court questions Obama's power," a slightly less erroneous headline but one which cast's the dispute in personal terms, not constitutional and institutional ones. (see below the page break for screen captures). Here's how Serwer opened his story (emphasis mine):
Arguing that "[o]ur laws need to be drafted not just in the spirit of equality, but in the practice of it," MSNBC's Alex Wagner insists that "we must continue to ask ourselves why there isn't gender parity in Congress." In other words, in Wagner's mind, it's patently unjust to have federal law shaped by a Congress which is disproportionately male compared to the general population, never mind that every single member of Congress was elected to that office by an elective franchise equally open to women as to men. [screen capture follows the page break]
"Republican lawmakers Thursday blamed the Obama administration for the stunning resurgence of Iraq’s al-Qaeda franchise and called on the White House to take assertive steps to help Baghdad beat back militant uprisings in the country’s west." That's how Ernesto Londono opened his January 10 story "Republicans blame Obama administration for al-Qaeda resurgence in Iraq," a front-page-worthy story which Washington Post editors buried on page A10.
By contrast, the Post ran not one but two Chris Christie bridge-scandal stories on the Friday edition's front page. The other stories rounding out the front page centered on efforts to hash out a long-term security agreement with Afghanistan, the Washington Redskins announcing their new head coach, and privacy/data-collection concerns from dashboard computers in new cars.
In a strange way, you have to hand it to Timothy Noah. The msnbc.com contributing writer has found a way to twist the Chris Christie bridge scandal into a blanket indictment of "bipartisanship" and serve as an rally cry t to liberal MSNBC fans of the moral superiority of full-throated, left-wing Democratic partisanship. After all, the Lean Forward network is convinced it needs to energize Obama's base to limit the damage in this year's midterm elections.
Lee set about spinning the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll, which shows President Obama sitting atop a 41 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in December, but still a net negative approval rating. Lee used the slight uptick in approval as a springboard to forecast that the president's economically liberal spending agenda could change his and his party's fortunes (emphasis mine):
"The New York State Legislature needs to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility, and they need to do it this year," demands the subheadline on MSNBC.com's landing page this afternoon for a story headlined, "Stop charging kids as adults." The column, co-authored by former NAACP president Ben Jealous and actress Rosario Dawson, promotes a push by the Citizens Committee for Children of New York [CCCNY] to change Empire State law so that minors aged 16 years old cannot be charged as adults.
Jealous and Dawson don't disclose to what age they believe the age of criminal responsibility should be raised, but they do include a reference to mental maturity which suggests they might be happy with it falling somewhere in the mid-20s:
Apparently to Time magazine and Reuters, using the term "martyr" to refer to a Christian slain for the sake of his or her faith -- often at the hands of "radical Islamists" -- is deserving of scare quotes.
Former Bush and Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates generally speaks warmly of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his forthcoming memoir. But there is one passage in which he expresses his dismay at Clinton admitting that the reason she opposed President Bush's troop surge in Iraq was strictly political rather than based on a genuine disagreement with the policy.
But fear not, Hillary boosters, for the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has your back, spinning away the admission in his 12-paragraph page A5 story in Wednesday's paper (h/t WMAL's Chris Plante, who addressed this on his January 8 radio program;emphasis mine):
Daily Beast political writer Patricia Murphy dutifully peddled Democratic spin on the economy and unemployment while singing the praises of Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller who led a breakaway contingent of fellow GOPers to invoke cloture on a Democratic bill to extend unemployment benefits without any offsetting spending cuts.
The MSNBC gang's selective outrage about drug use and the liberalization of drug laws is abundantly clear in two stories on the network's website today.
"Americans change their minds on pot," blares the headline for item #4 in the top-stories lightbox. "Moral outrage is down and support for legalized marijuana is up," noted the caption teasing Jane C. Timm's story. The very next item in the lightbox, however, tut-tutted a disgraced Florida Republican. "Coke congressman to return to Capitol Hill," the headline alerted readers. "Rep. Trey Radel to return to Congress Tuesday after taking a leave of absence last year to attend rehab for his cocaine use," noted the teaser caption to Michele Richinick's January 7 story. [see screen capture below]
Do liberal journalists ever get tired of pretending to offer conservative Republicans sage campaign advice? The latest example is the Daily Beast's Jamelle Bouie, who insists that "barring catastrophe" the GOP's anti-ObamaCare message will prove "irrelevant" to Republican success in November.
"[I]nstead of rehashing the rhetoric of the last four years, Republicans should start to think a little harder about what–if anything–they want out of a health care system," Bouie concluded his January 6 story, after having explained why he thinks beating the drum against ObamaCare's failures won't help the GOP:
Fifty years after it was first waged by LBJ, the federal War on Poverty has worked, and not only that, it's been a "wild success," the Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky is insisting.
Great, that being the case, we can de-mobilize and drastically cut back spending on social welfare, right? Heaven forbid! No, Tomasky wants to double-down with efforts at tackling "income inequality." Of course, along the way he insists that things under Republican presidents -- but particularly Reagan -- were absolutely dreadful for the lowest-income earners in American society (emphasis mine):
"Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail pull-ups requirement. Is the test fair?" That's how the Facebook page for CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront teased a story on the topic to air on Friday's 7 p.m. Eastern program. [see screen capture below page break]
It remains to be seen how fair and balanced the story itself may be, but the tease to the story clearly presents things from a liberal perspective putting the U.S. Marine Corps on the defensive in service of a socially liberal objective: inclusion of women in front-line combat billets.
Whatever are you to do when you're a journalist who favors Team Obama but the administration is going up against an underdog that you'd have to be a monster to hate: the Little Sisters of the Poor. Well, you simply call the Obama administration the "U.S. government" and you structure your story in such a way that it sounds like those silly sisters are making much ado about nothing against a "so-called contraceptive mandate."
MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced this morning that 11 a.m. anchor Thomas Roberts would be getting a new year's promotion... to the 5:30 a.m. Eastern program, Way Too Early, the lead-in to Morning Joe. Roberts will vacate his present MSNBC Live gig but also be awarded a regular contributor slot on the Morning Joe panel.
“This is a very exciting opportunity and right in line with my career goals and aspirations,” Roberts was quoted in an MSNBC.com story, adding:
Even as he hailed Bill de Blasio's "progressive revolution," The Daily Beast's Michael Daly sought to downplay fears that the newly-sworn-in mayor was a radical leftist intent on soaking the rich. Instead Daly practically painted a picture of the Democratic politician as a drum major leading the "march" to a more "equal" New York.
While noting de Blasio was a "leader speaking much the same language" as the now moribund Occupy Wall Street movement, Daly insisted the left-of-center David Dinkins acolyte "was only asking [wealthy New Yorkers] to pay 'a little more.'" Heck, de Blasio "suggested that the city’s very wealthiest would be paying only $973 more a year," no big whoop:
Leave it to the Daily Beast's Dean Obeidallah to lay out a false dilemma supposedly facing the National Collegiate Athletic Association while simultaneously resurrecting at the end of 2013 a left-wing bogeyman that is so 2012.
"The NCAA is facing a momentous decision in 2014: Will it stop partnering with Chick-fil-A—or revise its bylaws so it can support discrimination against gay Americans?" Obeidallah asked in the open of his December 27 post "The NCAA’s Big Gay Choice: Chick-fil-A or Equality?"
The Daily Beast has a new year's resolution for Pope Francis: be open to women in the priesthood.
Correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau opened her December 20 story "Does Pope Francis Have a Woman Problem," with the obligatory statement that "Pope Francis is undoubtedly a good guy" who "has managed to impress almost everyone." But, alas, "for all the papal cheerleading there is still at least one demographic that won’t be lauding the great pontiff quite yet: women." Nadeau explained, with decidedly loaded language:
'Tis the season for the liberal media to ramp up it's attacks on the Catholic Church.
"One in nine hospital beds is now in a Catholic institution. That may be bad news for pregnant women," reads the caption on the front-page tease for a December 19 Irin Carmon story, "What Catholic hospital expansion means for women," wherein the abortion-rights absolutist turns the network's "war on women" artillery on Church-run hospitals. Here's how Carmon opened her story (emphasis mine):
While many in the liberal media are cheering A&E's decision to suspend Phil Robertson from further filming of the network's Duck Dynasty reality show, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts suggested that the move by the network may not be "enough."
In a Facebook post, the openly gay MSNBC Live host posed to his fans the "big question" of the day (screen capture below page break):
Updated (15:25 EST): Fugelsang testily tweeted, "Hey, I deleted a NAFTA joke earlier cos someone politely asked me. Cue the jackal child-men of Newsbusters. NAFTA hurt them, too." To that, @bfinstock quipped in reply, "Probably best to keep 'child-men' out of a tweet in which you are describing the deletion of a 'NAMBLA' joke." | "NAFTA screwed a lot more people than NAMBLA," left-wing comedian and frequent cable news pundit John Fugelsang tweeted this morning.
Fugelsang has since deleted that tweet, but not before it was screen-captured, probably because NAMBLA, of course, refers to the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a group that wants to destigmatize or at least decriminalize pederasty [h/t Twitter user @bfinstock]:
During a panel discussion on Amazon.com offering discounts to consumers who are parents -- a discount mechanism completely on the honor system since the company cannot verify claims of parenthood -- MSNBC The Cycle co-host Toure Neblett justified lying to take advantage of the discount, saying "nobody was getting hurt here."
"If a lie is being told to a corporation, it's not really a lie," Neblett quipped, shortly after calling a lie about qualifying for the discount "a noble lie." For his part, Business Insider writer Josh Barro also excused dishonestly benefiting from the discount because such discount gimmicks are "price discrimination" and because brick-and-mortar Amazon competitors are supposedly the victims of the cutthroat corporate suits at Amazon [watch the video excerpt below the page break]: